Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Holy Spirit, Lies, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Testimony

PRETENDERS

TITUS 1:16

“They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”

Don’t you just hate people who pretend to be one thing but aren’t? Hate is really too strong a word. We shouldn’t hate anyone, except Satan. But pretenders are very hard to like, much less love. Paul had undoubtedly dealt with some of these folks through the years. He is now warning Titus to be careful. They say they know God, but…

Paul says their words don’t match their actions. They are detestable. That Greek word is only used right here. It means revolting, abominable. Then he says they are disobedient. This word really has the meaning that they can’t be persuaded. Don’t waste your time. And finally, Paul says they are worthless. That’s kind of harsh, isn’t it? The Greek word means unapproved or rejected.

APPLICATION

So, let me ask you something. Is that how you want you or your children to be known? “Not really, Carl.” Then you have to decide to surrender your life fully to Christ as you walk with Him daily. We can’t say we believe Christ and not follow Him. We can’t say we love Christ and yet hate others. As you live out Christ, your children will see the connection. When they don’t, point it out.

There are far too many people in the church today who are playing pretend Christianity. They don’t seem to realize that the Lord sees right through that. And if you are walking in the truth daily, you will also. Your children, however, can be hoodwinked. People can fool them. Teach them to allow the Holy Spirit who resides within them to reveal people’s real motives. He will.

Pretenders know ABOUT God, but they don’t know God. If they really knew Him, they would not be detestable, disobedient or worthless. They would welcome good deeds and would be qualified to carry them out. Why? Because they would be done to glorify Jesus, not themselves.

How do you measure up? Are you pretending rather than living truth? Playing pretend can be fun if your playing. It’s not if you are talking about eternal things. There’s no fooling the Lord. Why don’t you today allow the Lord to set you free from the temptation to deceive others about your walk. Live in truth. It’s so much simpler.

You are the Real Deal. There is no pretending with You. I want to be known by others as genuine and true.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Disciplemaking, Faith, Inspirational, Lies, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Truth

DON’T GET LED ASTRAY

TITUS 1:14

“not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.”

This verse may not seem very important, but it really is. Paul is telling Titus to reprove the false teachers and make sure are not being led astray by “Jewish myths” and “commandments of men who turn away from the truth.” Did you get that? These men were listening to untruths and teaching them. They were being led astray.

Sometimes lies can sound so much like the truth. It can be easy to be led astray, especially if the information is coming from someone you trust. So, how do you protect yourself from that? You have to know the Word. Anything that goes against it is NOT the truth, no matter what the source. Traditions and ordinances are not the truth.

APPLICATION

Children will believe most people in authority – teachers, preachers, deacons, etc. That’s why it is important that they are grounded in the Word. That’s your job as parents. Teach them that if they hear anything that sounds a little odd to come to you to check it out. Theirs is nothing wrong with that. And a true teacher of the Word will never be offended by that.

What a valuable skill for your children. Recognizing truth and lies will help them throughout their life. The Word has to be their foundation, however. They are going to bombarded with “other” truths from seemingly trustworthy sources. Some of those sources will be people they admire, but any deviation from God’s truth is falsehood. God’s truth is timeless.

Do you struggle with discerning between truth and falsehood? Perhaps you have fallen for a “little falsehood.” Little falsehoods don’t exist. False is false. Lies are lies. Measure every truth and myth with THE TRUTH.

I know I can only trust Your truth, O Lord. Give me discernment to recognize and disclose any falsehoods. Let me be bold for Your Word.

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Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Disciplemaking, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Lies, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Truth, Witnessing

I CANNOT LIE

TITUS 1:2

“in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,”

We have probably all heard the story about George Washington (the first President of the United States) as a boy when he was asked who cut down the cherry tree. He said, “I cannot lie. I did it.” We don’t know if that was legend or truth, but he was known as an honest man, not prone to lie. In today’s verse we see that character trait attributed to God, who also cannot lie.

Now, unlike George Washington, God is truly not capable of lying. There is no deceit in Him. He is pure truth. It is interesting to me that the Greek word used here for “cannot lie” is only used right here in this verse. Only God cannot lie. Everyone else is capable, including you and me.

APPLICATION

How many times have you told your child, when correcting them, “Now, don’t lie to me”? We want them to tell the truth. I know when my children were small, I could deal with almost any behavior, but just don’t lie to me. That made things worse. So, how do you get your children to be truthful? Bathe them in the Word. Only the truth of God can transform them into truth tellers rather than liars.

Your job as mom and dad is to obey the Holy Spirit’s leading in your life to provide the environment for salvation and spiritual growth. That includes you being truthful. Have you ever involved your child in a lie? What message does that send your child? If it’s okay for mom or dad, it’s okay for me. And then you punish them for lying to you. Confusing! You must model and live a truthful life for them to follow.

Are you known as a truthful person or a liar? When you give your word, can you be believed? If you are a believer, you represent our heavenly Father who cannot lie. Remember that. It’s not just about your reputation. If the lost world cannot trust Christians to tell the truth, why should they believe anything we say about the Gospel?

Forgive me, Father, for not being truthful at times. I tend to rationalize and justify my lies, but they are just sin. Help me remember it is You who lives within me, who cannot lie.

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THE LORD WILL REPAY

2 TIMOTHY 4:14

“Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.”

It’s pretty obvious that Alexander didn’t care for Paul. We aren’t exactly sure who he was, but there are a few speculations. He may have been one of the metal workers thrust forth by the Jews to denounce Paul in Ephesus. Demetrius had begun this protest, but a man named Alexander was trying speak about how Paul’s mission work was hurting the sale of idols of the great temple of Artemis, which was their livelihood.

This name appears later in Acts at Paul’s trial. This time he is there publicly to speak against Paul. Animosity, hatred, pure evil. Paul knew it, but what did he tell Timothy? Turn the other cheek. Do not engage this man. God will handle him. As powerful and as loud as Alexander may appear, God is bigger and louder (if necessary).

APPLICATION

Do you think your children are going to face an Alexander? You had better believe it. If your children are attempting to live for Jesus, there will be people who will feel threatened. You may not know why they feel threatened, but they will. It may go to their own insecurities. It could be from their wrecked childhood. But for some reason, they have it out for your son or daughter. So, what do you tell them to do? The exact same thing Paul told Timothy – let God have it.

Do you now what all “Alexanders” need? Jesus! They need His forgiveness. They need His love. They need His mercy. And all of that comes through us. God still uses His people to deliver the gospel. Teach your children to be that deliverer of hope to “Alexanders.” And when they rise up in hatred, love them more.

Who do you need to approach in love today whom has set out to tear you down? We all have someone who just doesn’t like us. We may not know why, but God does. Ask Him. You may share a past with that person that could bring them to Christ. But whatever you do, don’t retaliate. That’s the Lord’s job, and He can handle it much better than you.

Father, I lay down my plans to get even right now. It is hard not to want to get back at those who have harmed me. But at Your command, I will obey.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Deception, Holy Spirit, Lies, Parenting, Truth

IMPOSTORS

2 TIMOTHY 3:13

“But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

We find another one-time used Greek word in today’s verse. The Greek word for “impostors” is only used right here. There’s a reason the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to use it. No word was written haphazardly. Paul is using a strong wrong to describe those who intentionally seek to mislead and confuse others.

What is an impostor? One definition is “this person uses their verbal spells and incantations to give the (false) impression they can do miracles.” They are faking it, but they are so good at words they convince people they are real. Only by knowing the truth of God’s Word can we guard ourselves against these types of people. If we are bathed in truth, lies just naturally reveal themselves.

APPLICATION

Your children are going to encounter impostors along the way. How do you prepare them to recognize and avoid their influence? There’s only one way – through the diligent teaching and nurturing in His Word. This may sound simplistic, but it’s true. Impostors will take a portion of the truth and make it something it’s not. They only want what is best for themselves, not others.

That’s probably the easiest way to detect those impostors. Everything they do is about them. It’s self, self, self. Train your child to recognize that. If someone is constantly seeking self, they are not someone you want your child around. Paul lumps them with evil men who are deceiving or being deceived. Not the best crowd.

Are you faking it right now? A lot of people in the church today are going through the motions. They pretend to be a Christian to gain access to something. They may think by “joining” the church they will get some kind of special favor. Don’t be an impostor. Be a real, self-less follower of Christ and watch what He does in and through you. To God be the glory.

I want to represent only You, dear Lord. I lay down my motives an agenda to live for only You. May I please You today as I go through my duties.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Lies, Obedience, Parenting, Scripture, Testimony, Truth

FAKERS

2 TIMOTHY 3:8

“Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.”

Just who are these two guys. They are mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. We are pretty sure these two men were the two lead magicians who opposed Moses in front of Pharaoh. There is a lot of Jewish literature that names them, and it would be normal for their names to have been preserved in ancient texts.

But why mention them here. Paul is saying that just as these two tried to fake the truth of Moses’ miracles to free the slaves, these people Paul is warning Timothy about were faking the truth of the gospel and pretending to have an equal claim to apostleship and power. There are still people around today who will do the same. Beware!

APPLICATION

Now, people won’t normally come up to you or your child and say, “I have the power of God. Listen to me.” That would be too obvious. We teach our children about stranger danger. If someone approaches them and claims mom or dad sent them to pick them up, what should they do? That’s right, run! The same holds true here.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are hearing “another” gospel that doesn’t quite match up to the truth of the gospel, run! Teach your kids that the moment the shift happens from all glory pointing to Jesus towards another person or object (church, event, etc.), run! Fakers fake because we fall for it. Fakers fake because we are not diligent to check them out.

Let me ask you a hard question. Are you a faker? Do you pretend to be walking in the truth but are actually living a lie? Stop right now and make that right. Set your feet on the firm foundation of God’s Word and never turn again. And be mindful of the other fakers around you trying to lure you into chasing things that are false and just don’t matter. Life is way too short to chase rabbits spiritually.

Give me Your eyes, Lord, so I can spot the fakers. You only stand for truth. That is all I desire.

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OUT OF LINE

2 TIMOTHY 2:18

“men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.”

Have you ever known someone who was just out of line? I mean, someone who deliberately said something or did something that everyone could see was not right. Maybe you have done that. Well, the phrase “have gone astray” in today’s verse carries that meaning. It is only used three times in Scripture (here, 1 Timothy 1:6; 6:21), each time by Paul writing to Timothy.

Now, listen to this definition. It means to be out of step with God, to be off target. But it’s more than that. The word has the understanding that this person has purposely walked off the line with God. They didn’t get pushed off. In fact, this word also emphasizes God’s disapproval due to their walking off.

APPLICATION

Raising children isn’t for the weak of heart. Can I get an “Amen”? I’ve said it many times, “We are not raising children. We are raising child raisers.” And there is nothing more important than to teach our children to walk with God. So, when a parent comes to me, heartbroken, because their son or daughter have decided to walk away from the faith, I can feel their pain.

Walking is simple. It’s just putting one foot in front of another. Walking with God can be just as simple – if – we let Him do all the walking. All we have to do is hold His hand. Better yet, all we have to do is place our hand in His. He will hold onto us.

Have you deliberately walked off? Are you walking hand in hand? Take a moment and make sure that every step you take is in sync with the Lord. Don’t take one step without knowing your walk is His walk. His direction will always be right.

I can’t begin to know where You are leading me, Lord. So, I will stay on the path You have laid out before me. Lead me, Lord.

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